GM Canada’s back-to-office plan | Automotive News Canada

General Motors Canada says it’s working toward a solution to get more salaried employees back in the office as COVID-19 restrictions continue to fade away in most jurisdictions. 

“As we move to a more regular in-person work cycle, our plan is to collaboratively design the solution that best balances the needs of the enterprise with the needs of employees. We’re spending the next few weeks listening to feedback and will work to incorporate it into our plans,” A GM Canada spokesperson told Automotive News Canada.

General Motors Co. on Tuesday sent the same message to its employees globally. That message labeled in-person collaboration “a critical success factor” as GM transitions to building electric vehicles and competes against new challengers. It called the timing of the original announcement that was made late Friday — a strategy companies often are accused of using to bury bad news — “unfortunate” and “unintentional.”

General Motors on Sept. 23 initially said all employees who have been working remotely needed to report to an office at least three days a week starting later this year, modifying the flexible and intentionally vague “Work Appropriately” approach it adopted during the pandemic.

The Detroit Free Press reported the company’s reversal earlier Tuesday.

The new message did not refer to a specific number of days workers would have to report in person, saying that individual managers would make decisions on how, when and where their teams should collaborate. It also said the company would not mandate which days of the week employees work in person vs. remotely.

More information will be shared with employees at the end of October, the message said.

GM told workers in a new message from its senior leadership team that it still wants “a more regular, in-person presence” but that it would not alter the “Work Appropriately” philosophy it adopted during the pandemic any sooner than 2023.

The Detroit Free Press reported the company’s reversal earlier Tuesday.

GM Canada confirmed the information applies to its workers, too.

The initial abrupt announcement, reported by sibling publication Automotive News last week, had prompted backlash from workers who felt the change was misguided or being imposed too quickly.

GM’s leadership team — CEO Mary Barra, President Mark Reuss and 12 other executives listed at the end of both messages — said it chose to send last week’s message before specifics had been decided because word about a coming “evolution” to the “Work Appropriately” policy already had begun to spread within the company.

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